Month: May 2016

Forgiving our parents and forefathers is a necessary step to breaking Generational curses. Photo: Mae Wells/Flickr/Creative Commons

Generational Curses: Part 6 — the one condition, forgiving our parents

In Exodus 20:4-5, the Bible says the iniquity of the parents would be passed on to their children for up to four generations. In the previous posts, we talked about how Jesus’ death on the cross broke this curse Galatians 3: 9-13. But having the curse broken does not guarantee it’s broken. Similarly, just because Jesus died for our sins, does not mean every one is saved and just because by His stripes we are healed, does not mean everyone is automatically healed. We have to contend and believe for salvation and healing and similarly must do the same to break Generational Curses. Though Jesus broke the curse, there is one condition attached for it to happen — forgiveness. In Leviticus 26, God lays out the blessings and punishment that He would place on Israel if they chose to live unrighteously. Initially God would judge them with blight, pestilence and disease hoping this would turn the nation from its iniquity. However, if Israel failed to respond, they would face the ultimate punishment — removal from …

Hamburg, Germany Photo: Arne Bornheim/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did the Bible predict thousands of Muslims converting to Christ in Europe?

Several media outlets are reporting that churches across Europe are seeing thousands of Middle Eastern refugees, most of them Muslims, turning to Christ. Recently the Pastor of a Persian Church in Hamburg, Germany baptized 600 Muslims in one service, largely Afghans and Pakistanis. And it was done for all to see as a local TV station — ARD TV — showed up with its cameras in tow to film the momentous event.. In the same city, Pentecostal Pastor Albert Babjan just baptized 80 former Muslims who had converted to Christ. So far this year, Babjan has baptized 196 Muslims and expects the number could reach 500 by December. In an interview with the German newspaper Stern, Babjan said that many of the converts are turning to Christianity because of their disappointment in Islam. They are tired of the Islamic extremists’ fear and intimidation tactics in the countries from which they fled. Stern interviewed one of the recently baptized Christian converts that Babjan had just baptized and described the difference between Christianity and Islam this way: …

Saint Elijah's Monastery in Mosul, Iraq. Dated to the sixth century, it is the oldest monastery in Iraq. Photo: Doug/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Forgiving through the fire

  Earlier this month, Islamic extremists burned a 12-year old Christian girl to death. She was living in Mosul, Iraq with her family when ISIS terrorists showed up at their home demanding the Coptic Christian family pay jizya. The jizya is a tax that over the centuries Muslims have forced Christians and Jews living in their territory to pay. The Muslim Qur’an mentions jizya , but does not specify how much the tax should be. Traditionally, it has been looked upon as a tax non-Muslims pay to practice their faith in Muslim countries. If paid, it is supposed to protect Christians from Muslim attacks.  It also indicates that the people being taxed are in submission to their Muslim rulers. Some Muslim Imams (teachers) even consider it a form of punishment for not being Muslim. Most Muslim nations do not impose the jizya, but it has made an appearance recently in areas controlled by ISIS and the Taliban. According to the British Newspaper The Express, when the jihadists showed up they demanded the family pay the …

Photo: Rafal Zych/Flickr/Creative Commons

Generational Curses: Part 5 — Exposing the secret sins

In this series we are studying the Biblical concept of Generational Curses that tells how the “iniquity” of the parents can be passed down to the children (Exodus 20:4-5). Children can actually inherit their parent’s sin. In the last article, we started our discussed on how to break with Generational curses. The first step involves understanding that Jesus broke the curse. This means that we are fighting from the higher ground. The curse is broken, we must enforce it. We also looked at the need to deal with the victim mentality that can cause people to quit the fight. In this post, I want to look at the next important step. Coming clean on your iniquity Because of the nature of iniquity, it tends to be our most closely guarded secret. We don’t want anyone to find out about it. Some say that we are only as sick as our deepest secrets. One of the keys to breaking the power of generational curses is confession. Job’s cover-up In Job 31:33, the ancient patriarch confesses that …

Persecution coming to America. Photo: Karl Schultz/Flickr/Creative Commons

Persecution is Back

Recently, a man ordered a birthday cake for his child’s birthday, and then he cancelled the order. That’s what we know for sure. But this cake cancelling has stirred up trouble around the world. With the cancellation, someone sent a note to the bakery: “Hey actually were going to order our cake somewhere else my husband just found out your Muslim. And I’m not against it but he is because he was in Iraq fighting for our country against your people. He even changed his new doctor because the new one he was referred to was Muslim and he just said somethings and said he doesn’t feel comfortable having you make our cake. I’m so sorry.” I suspect a set up, what we used to call throwing a bomb into a quiet room. One person wrote about the motives of another person, and the original source was never quoted directly, which prevents legal follow up. I think someone was careful. Now the story is a platform for anyone, including me, who wants to make a …

Houseboats on Tonie Sap River in Cambodia Photo: Brian Hoffman/Flickr/Creative Commons

Pol Pot’s chief torturer comes to Christ

The Khmer Rouge started off as a Maoist, guerilla group in the Cambodian jungles. Run by a despot named Pol Pot, they overthrew the Cambodian government in 1975 starting a four year reign of terror. In an effort to transform Cambodia into an agrarian society, Pol Pot emptied the cities forcing people into the country where hundreds of thousands were either starved to death, slaughtered or simply worked to death. Phnom Penh, the capital city with a current population of over 1.2 million, was turned into a ghost town in the late 70s. The regime’s motto was “To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss” and certainly they lived by it. There were mass executions of former government loyalists, intellectuals (this included people wearing glasses which indicated they could read) and non Cambodians such as Vietnamese and Chinese. Religious groups were also targeted particularly Christians and Muslims. Though, the Khmer Rouge were finally ousted by the Vietnamese in 1979, it’s estimated the Khmer killed 1.7 million Cambodians — nearly 20% of …

Jesus breaks the curse of Generational curses!

Generational Curses: Part 4 — Jesus breaks the curse

In this series we have been studying a Biblical principle found in Scripture often referred to as Generational Curses. First cited in Exodus 20:5 and referenced several times after (Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9 and Jeremiah 36:31), it revolves around the idea that the sin/iniquity of the parents can be be passed down to the children for up to four generations. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me. (Exodus 20:5 NASV) In our previous article, I discussed how King David’s family was affected by such a curse. So the obvious question is, what type of iniquity or sin can be passed down? In the Exodus passage, it states that iniquity of the parents can be passed down, not the sin. While sin refers to the act of sinning, iniquity speaks of a sin addiction. Since one of the earliest references to iniquity …

Photo: Carlo Err/Flickr/Creative Commons

A gay activist tells his journey to Christ

Though James Parker was raised in a Christian home in a rural community in Northern England, as a young teenage boy he became convinced that he was gay. In his testimony on mercatornet, James said as he struggled with his identity he turned to alcohol, became suicidal and self harming. At the age of 17, he finally came out to his parents and friends at school. He was shocked when they not only accepted but affirmed his gay identity. When he turned 18, James moved to London and threw himself into the gay community, even taking on an activist role for homosexual causes. Despite a promiscuous lifestyle, Parker still had an interest in spiritual things and became involved in a gay lesbian Christian group, which other than promoting safe sex did not have a strong spiritual agenda. While attending university, he eventually settled down with a long-term partner and together they planned to visit a country where gay marriage was allowed and get married. But while at university he still had an inner desire for …

Nurses on a hospital ward at Christmas during the 1930s. Photo: theirhistory/Flickr/Creative Commons

Medical study: Want to live longer, go to church

A study of 75,534 middle-aged nurses published in JAMA Internal Medicine discovered that church attendance played a key role in nurses living longer. The study surveyed the lifestyles of this group of nurses between 1992 and 2012. During the ten-year period, 13,537 of the nurses died including 4,479 due to cancer and 2,721 due to cardiovascular problems. After accounting for lifestyle choices that could lead to early death such as smoking (which can lead to increased cancer risk and heart problems), the researchers discovered if a nurse attended church over once per week they were 33% less likely to die than their non church attending counterparts. They also discovered that even if nurses attended church less often, they were less likely to die than those who didn’t. Weekly church attendance resulted in a 26% reduction in death and irregular attendance (less than once a week) resulted in a 13% reduction. The study only analyzed the impact of protestant and Catholic church attendance and did not study any benefits associated with attending services at non-Christian religions. …

Kendall Jenner Photo: Disney | ABC Television/Flickr/Creative Commons

Super model and reality star Kendall Jenner identifies herself as Christian

Kendall Jenner, 19, model and reality show star, recently came out as Christian on her website (subscription required). Kendall is the daughter of Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender activist formerly known as Bruce Jenner and Kris Kardashian. She is part of a blended Kardashian/Jenner family that includes sister Kylie and eight half-siblings. Kendall stars on the popular reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The show, which started in 2007, is produced by E!’s cable network and is the longest running reality show in America. The program focuses primarily on the three Kardashian sisters Kim, Kourtney and Khloé  and their half sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner. There have also been spinoffs including Kourteny and Kloe Take the Hamptons. In a recent post on her website, Kendall says though she wasn’t raised in a Christian home, she was “definitely taught — even by my sisters — to believe in God.” She says that the family’s actual church attendance was limited to Easter and Christmas. Referring to her faith as more spiritual than religious, Kendall says “I pray …

Praying in a cathedral in Tuscany, Italy. Photo: ashokboghani/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: Prayer reduces alcoholic cravings

Researchers with New York University’s Langone Medical Center have discovered that prayer helps a person reduce their cravings for alcohol. In their study, the group performed MRI brain scans on 20 people who were long-term participants with Alcoholics Anonymous. The chosen 20 all stated that they did not have any cravings for alcohol during the previous week. There were two phases to the testing. During both phases the participants viewed alcoholic drinks and across the board all participants said they felt a craving for alcohol. After viewing alcohol in the first test, the AA group was given a newspaper to read and during the second test they were told to recite AA’s prayer that promotes abstinence. The AA prayer also called the serenity prayer was developed for the organization by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and goes like this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And wisdom to know the difference.” The research group discovered that the participants stated there was a significant reduction …

Photo of graffiti: David Perry/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are you vulnerable to satanic attack?

Several years back my wife and I went to Sunday lunch with the pastor of the church we were attending at the time. The restaurant was bustling with an after-church crowd. Then we saw a couple sitting on the other side of the restaurant along its large plate-glass window. I don’t think they saw us, but I watched the pastor’s eyes immediately fix on them. They had attended his church several months earlier and had left offended. Though gone they were now accusing the pastor of all sorts of things, that simply weren’t true. These accusations had made their way back to the pastor and here they were sitting probably 70 feet away and it was obvious their presence was distracting him as I watched him repeatedly glance over. I had no idea what was going on in his mind. The couple had finished their meal and I watched as the waitress walked over to their table and dropped off the bill. As soon as that happened, the pastor pushed back his chair and stood …

Was David's son -- King Solomon -- affected by a generational curse in David's family. Image: Queen of Sheba visiting King Solomon by Edward Poynter (1836-1919)/Wikipedia

Generational Curses: Part 3 — Did King David’s family have a generational curse?

In the first two articles in this series on Generational Curses, I looked at the principles of this curse outlined in Exodus 20:5, where God said the iniquity of the parents would be passed to the children for up to four generations. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me. (Exodus 20:5 NASV) In this third article, we will study the devastating effects that generational curses had on one particular family — King David’s. This will involve taking a second look at what is conceivably one of the most misinterpreted verses in the Bible. Israel’s greatest illegitimate son In our first article, we studied how it was the iniquity (Hebrew awon) and not the sin (Hebrew chattah) of the parents that would be passed on to the children. In that article, I discussed that while sin refers to the act, iniquity refers to a …

Photo: Trey Ratcliff/Flickr/Creative Commons

The first prayer

After I lost my first-born son, Graham, to suicide, I still had my sixteen year old, second born son to care for. I watched my adolescent boy reeling from his own grief as he sat on the couch in the basement for days on end. He had made up his brother’s bed and formed the blankets to look like he was still sleeping in it.  He could not accept that his brother was gone. My perspective on life had tilted dramatically.  I knew that I could no longer “take care of everything.”  I was no longer superwoman. All that I felt I could do was pray for my son. Behind our house there was a two-mile hike up to a huge coulee.  Once you reached the top you just had to sit down and admire the scenery below. Farmers crops and cows grazed at the base of this coulee. Hues of gold, green and geometric patterns stretched out over the wide open land before me. From the rock pile on top of the plateau, I …

New York City Times Square Photo: Jack Siah/Flickr/Creative Commons

Ominous sign of the times? New York mayor calls for a boycott of Chick-fil-A

A popular US-based fast food restaurant has been in caught up in a fire-storm of protests over the past four years, because the Cathay family — who own Chick-fil-A — are devout Christians and stated publicly that marriage was between a man and a woman. In a 2012 interview with the Biblical Recorder, Chick-fil-A’s Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathay said “we are very much supportive of the family – the Biblical definition of the family unit.” That statement and their financial support of family organizations sparked nation-wide protests by gay activists. However, the protests fell flat as sales at Chick-fil-A restaurants rose by 12% in 2012. So far, the restaurant chain has rather successfully weathered the storm. But things took an ominous turn recently after Chick-fil-A announced it would be opening a third restaurant in New York City. It launched the first one in 2015 and obviously they have done very well sprouting two more restaurants in less than a year. Chick-fil-A’s arrival caught the attention of the city’s political ruling caste. New York Mayor …

Photo: John Curley/Flickr/Creative Commons

Free Dating Advice, and that MGTOW thing

I learned a new word, new for me, “MGTOW.” It’s pronounced migtow, and it means Men Going Their Own Way. “M.G.T.O.W – Men Going Their Own Way is a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else. It is the manifestation of one word:“No”. Ejecting silly preconceptions and cultural definitions of what a “man” is. Looking to no one else for social cues. Refusing to bow, serve and kneel for the opportunity to be treated like a disposable utility. And, living according to his own best interests in a world which would rather he didn’t.“ Note that most MGTOW Internet sites include strong language; swearing, and crude statements about women. MGTOW is an emerging movement that could change society like feminism before it. We should not underestimate this new force. Also note, Christians like Paul rejected the corrupt society around them and went another way; and claimed their rights: “Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord? And …

Cross overlooking a valley in Lebanon Photo: Paul Saad/Flickr/Creative Commons Insert Photo: Rima Fakih/Wikipedia/US Army

Report: America’s first Muslim Miss USA has converted to Christianity

When Rima Fakih, 30, was crowned Miss USA in 2010, it was generally believed she was the first Muslim woman to ever win the title. Shortly after winning, Fakih acknowledged her Muslim faith stating: “I’d like to say I’m American first, and I am an Arab-American, I am Lebanese-American, and I am Muslim-American.” She was born in Lebanon and raised in a Shia Muslim family, that admittedly had been luke-warm to their Muslim faith and would often observe both Muslim and Christian holidays. The family immigrated to New York in 1993 and continued to observe both Muslim and Christian holidays including even attending church on Easter. But in 2003, her family moved to Dearborn, Michigan and became involved with the large Islamic community in that city. When Fakih started attending the University of Michigan, her father urged her to reconnect with her Muslim roots through the Islamic group at the University. It was here that she began to learn of her Muslim faith including Ramadan — that involves a month of fasting and prayer in …

Photo: Giuseppe Milo www.pixael.com /Flickr/Creative Commons

How unrealistic expectations trip up your child

One of the biggest regrets my husband and I have is the expectations we placed upon our kids especially our son in his younger years. None of the expectations had anything to do with him and everything to do with what we wanted and how we wanted to feel. Expectations are good. Unrealistic expectations are not and do not leave room for flexibility or change. Clinical Psychologist Selena Snow says,  “unrealistic expectations are potentially damaging because they set us and others up for failure.” It took awhile for us to realize that our expectations were unrealistic and taking a toll on our son. Life wasn’t fun for him anymore. He felt trapped and did not want to make a mistake for fear of losing our approval. Taking risks was no longer an option for him. When it comes to our family, our expectations must be placed in God, not our children. Putting our expectations upon our children especially at a young age can create all kinds of frustration, anger and resentment, not just for the …

Justice for Christians?

Lawsuit launched after university allegedly kicks student out due to Christian beliefs

In 2007, Andrew Cash was accepted at Missouri State University (MSU) to take a masters in counseling. Aside from completing the academic requirements, Cash, 46, also needed to perform an internship of 600 hours and counseling of 240 hours. With a grade point average of 3.81, Cash was easily meeting the academic standards, however, he is now suing MSU alleging the university kicked him out of the program due to his religious beliefs. The Thomas More Society is representing Cash in the lawsuit. The Chicago-based non-profit law firm provide pro bono legal services in cases involving religious liberty. Cash alleges his problems started in 2011 when he was doing an internship at a Christian organization called the Springfield Marriage and Family Institute (SMFI), which had been approved by the university. However, that all changed after Springfield’s director W.K. Boyce was part of a presentation Cash made to his class at MSU. During the address, one of the students asked Boyce if the institute would counsel a homosexual couple. The director stated they would certainly counsel …

To go up in the Kingdom of God, you must first go down. Photo: Daniel Hoherd/Flickr/Creative Commons

Going low to go high

[by Patricia Fraser] Earlier this year, I felt a strong urge to go on an extended fast with an emphasis on God’s love for me and for His people.  It was broken up in to two 16-day fasts. The first involved a liquid fast and the second 16 days a discipline fast where I stayed away from such things as the Internet, TV and computer. My first 16 days of the liquid fast was relatively easy and delightful with much journaling of deeper understanding of various scriptures and God’s love. On the second day, I received this word: “It has always been My will to have righteous judges to govern My people, not kings.  I am raising up many to take their place in My Kingdom to speak truth, decide matters and deliver My verdict in righteousness. “Those who have given themselves to my training and discipline in various situations and have yielded and submitted to My ways are now equipped to speak for Me.  This is not a position with a title, but a function …

Despite persecution, Christianity continues to grow in India, particularly among the lowest Caste. Photo: Ville Miettinen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Despite persecution, Christianity continues to surge in India

Despite the rising tide of persecution against Christians around the world, reports continue to flow in on how God is continuing to move. The latest is India where on April 17, 2016, two Hindu extremists posing as Christians approached pastor Deenbandhu Sameli seeking prayer. The pastor who was in his church in Karanji Village at the time, let the two in. The two men turned on the pastor, beat him and forced Sameli to say “jai sri ram” a reference to the Hindu god Veshnu. The two men then poured gas over the pastor and his wife to force them to convert. However, the two were able to escape before the extremists set them on fire. Yet despite this persecution, Christian Aid Mission (CAM) reports that God is moving in one of the most heavily persecuted provinces in India — Kandhamal Province. Just eight years ago over 100 Christians were killed in this district by riots sparked by Hindu extremists who blamed the August 23, 2008 murder of a popular Hindu monk Laxshmananda Saraswati and …

Women in Iran. Photo: Sebastia Giralt/Flickr/Creative Commons

Middle East Muslim leader puts daughter under house arrest for becoming a Christian

Paul Siniraj is founder of Bibles for the Mideast an organization that smuggles Bibles into Middle Eastern Muslim countries. In a recent report on his website, he told of the remarkable Christian conversion of an unnamed young woman, 16, who is the daughter of one of the rulers of an unnamed Mideast country. The young woman, who Siniraj gave the name Najima, was receiving a higher education at a Western school in that Muslim nation. Najima was eating in the cafeteria, when she noticed paper jammed between the tables. Pulling it out, she discovered it was a Gospel tract. She read it and one of the Bible verses on the tract caught her attention: “For God hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21) Being from a strong Muslim family, Najima faithfully followed all the Muslim traditions, so she tossed the tract into the garbage. But though she got rid of the tract, the Bible verse began …

Passing on iniquity for four generations?

Generational curses: Part 2 — For four generations

In my first article on Generational Curses, I looked at a verse in Exodus 20:5, where God promised to visit the iniquity of the parents on the children. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me. (Exodus 20:5 NASV) In that article, we discussed how it was the iniquity (Hebrew awon) and not the sin (Hebrew chataah), that was passed on. The difference between the two being that while sin refers to the act, iniquity refers to a sin addiction. In much the same way children inherit red hair and freckles from their parents, they also inherit spiritual characteristics as well. In this article, I want to discuss the third principle noted in this verse that generational curses can pass down for up to four generations. Ironically, in my first post, I cited a story published in The Globe and Mail that talked of …

Natasha Higgins before and after scan Photo: Instagram

Cancer healed at Azusa Now meeting?

Natasha Higginson recently shared her PET scans showing a remarkable reduction in the cancer spots in her body after being prayed for a person attending Azusa Now. In a posting on Instagram, Higginson said she has been battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) for the past nine years. She has experienced brief periods of remission and when it recently returned, after taking two doses of chemo she decided to stop treatment because she “wanted to live the rest of my life feeling good.” When she made that decision in 2015, the doctors did not believe she would live past March of this year. When she first contracted the disease Natasha did not believe the cancer would kill her and when she decided to quit taking the medication, she felt an incredible peace about her decision. Nevertheless she confessed on Instagram, “I was scared God’s promises weren’t real.” Meanwhile she had gotten to know a woman, Nicole Jasien, via Facebook. Nicole had decided to attend the Azusa Now meeting in Los Angeles on April 9, …